“Safe and sane” fireworks are legal in San Benito County, but only in the cities of San Juan Bautista and Hollister.
The Hollister Police Department last year for the first time patrolled Hollister neighborhoods to enforce illegal fireworks rules, issuing a number of citations.
They will be out in force again this July 4, said Police Chief David Westrick.
“We will have multiple officers out during the evening of Independence Day. We will also again utilize the FOREalert App available in the Apple App Store and Google Playstore,” he said. The FOREalert App will go live around 5pm on July 4. This app is for fireworks reports only and is a free download. For emergencies, call 911.
“Safe and sane” fireworks are approved by the state fire marshal and do not leave the ground or explode. All other fireworks are considered dangerous and illegal, officials warned, and use of these is a violation of state law and city codes.
Fireworks are to be purchased and used by Hollister and San Juan Bautista residents only, and purchasers may be asked to show proof of residence at the time of purchase.
Booths that knowingly sell to persons out of town may have their permit revoked and booth closed.
It is not legal to use these “safe and sane” fireworks in any public area, such as city parks, schools or in commercial center parking lots.
Here are some safety tips from the Hollister Fire Department, which provides fire protection for Hollister, San Juan Bautista and the county:
Always observe local laws regarding the use of fireworks.
Use only fireworks approved by the state fire marshal.
Use common sense and always read and follow the directions on each firework before using it.
Have a responsible adult present whenever fireworks are used.
Never point or throw fireworks at anyone.
Only use fireworks outdoors away from homes, dry grass or trees. Never use fireworks in an enclosed area.
Light only one item at a time and keep a safe distance.
Never experiment with or alter a firework.
Never carry fireworks in your pockets.
Put used fireworks in a bucket of water and have a garden hose or fire extinguisher nearby to extinguish flames if necessary.
Legal “safe and sane” fireworks are for sale at three locations in Hollister: at the Downtown Business Association booth in the Safeway parking lot, 591 Tres Pinos Road,10 am-10 pm, and at Phantom Fireworks, 291 McCray St. and 1260 San Juan Road. The sales were to begin Thursday, June 28 and continue through Wednesday, July 4.
The City of Hollister will accept illegal fireworks at Fire Station No. 1 (110 Fifth St.) Station No. 2 (1000 Union Road) or Station 4 (24 Polk St.) in San Juan Bautista.
If you witness a crime or fire in progress involving illegal fireworks, call your local authorities by dialing 911.
Those with information regarding the whereabouts of an illegal fireworks operation, whether out of the trunk of a car, warehouse or garage, can contact Hollister’s 24-hour, non-emergency line at 831-636-4100 or 831-636-4326.